Ramping up RFID Efforts, Dow Joins EPCglobal US

Chemical company aims to lead industry in adoption of radio frequency identification technologies

Chemical company aims to lead industry in adoption of radio frequency identification technologies

Midland, MI — December 21, 2005 — The Dow Chemical Company has joined EPCglobal US, the not-for-profit organization leading the development of standards for the electronic product code (EPC) to support the commercialization of radio frequency identification (RFID).

In addition, Dow is in the process of launching a set of projects under its recently developed Corporate RFID/GPS Strategy, intended to advance Dow's RFID/GPS capabilities.

"Joining EPCglobal US enables us to take our use of RFID/GPS technologies to the next level, contributing to the development of industry standards for RFID and helping drive increased usage of RFID/GPS to enhance the efficiency and security throughout the chemical industry supply chain," said Dave Kepler, corporate vice president of shared services and chief information officer at Dow.

EPCglobal US serves more than 550 subscribing companies in the United States to help foster the adoption of EPC.

"The EPC is revolutionizing the use of RFID technology, making it even easier for companies to track and trace materials throughout their supply chains," said Mike Meranda, president of EPCglobal US. "There is significant multi-industry participation today, and Dow's joining of our community will continue to strengthen our work in the manufacturing sector and enable us to work together to accelerate the deployment of standards to benefit the chemical industry."

According to Paula Tolliver, global director of RFID strategy at Dow, the chemical company has piloted and implemented several applications of RFID/GPS technology. "We have been pleased with the pilot results: improvements in work processes, asset utilization, inventory control, security, order fulfillment and other areas," said Tolliver.

To date, Dow has implemented four applications of RFID/GPS technology. Tolliver said that Dow has a comprehensive plan to build out its RFID/GPS capabilities over the next 10 years, but the company initially will focus its efforts on a few key priorities.

For example, RFID/GPS and bar-coding technologies allow Dow to track cylinders at the individual cylinder level throughout its global supply chain network. The company has seen improvements in asset utilization, inventory control and product stewardship thanks to Dow's ability to track and trace product information throughout the supply chain, from manufacturer to distributor to customer, using RFID technologies.

"Knowing the location and condition of products in transit contributes to increased safety and security during the order fulfillment process, but it is just one piece of the puzzle," said Tolliver. "We will also be integrating RFID/GPS into larger processes and systems to increase process effectiveness, improve service to our customers, lower our cost to serve and enhance the safety and security of product delivery in the global chemical industry."

Additional Articles of Interest

— RFID technology has the potential to change the way supply chains are managed, but in order to be effective businesses need to take a holistic look at the deployment. Read more in the SDCExec.com article "Time for RFID: Applying RFID in the Supply Chain."

— For a contrary view of the future of the RFID market, see the article "The O'RFID Factor: A 'No Spin' Look at Where Radio Frequency Identification Is Headed," in the October/November 2004 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive.

— For more information on trends relating to radio frequency identification (RFID), follow this link for an extensive listing of SDCExec.com articles, featuring the latest research findings on the RFID, including adoption, return on investment and barriers to implementation.